Chapter 1: Kenopsia
Kenopsia - The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
< 0 >
The dull night sky loomed over the silent forest. Usually the sky would be covered by bright white stars that scattered across the pitch black canvas of the night - which was a beautiful scenery to stare at for a couple of hours, but it seemed the clouds were covering them. Covering the stars like a mother tucking her children in their blanket. There hidden in the forest, was an old building which looks to be abandoned for years. Nature seemed to have taken control of the somewhat collapsing structure.
There stood the figure. It was a man, in his late 20s. His silky curly quiffed-hair seemed to lighten up as the moonlight reflected on it. The fur-collared black jacket he wore, now swayed along with the sudden breeze. His white pin-stripped buttoned up shirt were now covered in dirt and filth. He hated this place from the day he was brought here and now wondered why the hell he's come back. Perhaps to check if the structure was still here, or to just to recall all those horrible memories in his past, or maybe both.
He scratched the back of his neck before trying to open the old rusted metallic door. But it won't budge. So he did it the old way, by old way he meant to kick down the door. And so he did and did until the door collapsed to the ground - signalling defeat. He entered the door swiftly and gracefully. His grey eyes scanned across the dull and lifeless hallway. The only thing he could hear was just the breeze that breached the area.
Just get to the damn room and run away, simple as that. He told himself. The man made a hard left, right and went straight ahead. As he walked to this certain room he saw what appears to be both human skeletons and something else. Focus goddammit. He reminded himself harshly. There, the man found what he was looking for. There stood a doorless room. Then, the memories came flooding back.
He was no more that ten years old, who came to a sudden halt. He jerks his back until it struck to his side and both arms shot to the sides.
"Report soldier.." An older voice of a man spoke, his big bulging eyes staring into his.
"We encountered a group of surviving Ishvalan citizens who were taking refuge near the base."
"What did you do next?"
"We politely asked them to seek refuge in another area, but they didn't concur with me and my fellow troops."
"We had no choice but to eradicate them…."
The old man laughed and applauded him. He tilts his head to the side, curiously. "You've done well soldier!" He praised.
All he wanted to do was smile, but all that came out was a dull: "Thank you, sir.."
Name: William Smith
Designated Codename: Knight
Notes taken from one of the leading researchers: From what I observed, the subject seems to obey any sort of commands, such as to assault or to terminate subjects with no questions asked. He is good at handling any type of weapon due to participation to all weapons handling demonstration classes. Unfortunately, through his years of training, he slowly loses his capability to express his personal and common emotions. A few months later, I decided to have the subject's genetic material alchemically combined with that of a wolf. After that, we noticed something unique and spectacular. We observed that the subject can transform into a bipedal wolf-like creature and that the subject's speed, agility, strength and endurance have increased unexpectedly. He could be a perfect candidate for-
He ripped the file in pieces. Though he's dark grey eyes show nothing, he was screaming angrily in the inside. It was a good thing he escaped and killed every single one of them inside. They all deserved it. He hated each one of them. The researchers, his comrades and everyone on the fucking base. Why did he fucking obeyed their orders?!
Once he was outside the structure, he took out some white gloves off of his jacket's pockets. On the gloves' palms were transmutation circles for explosion alchemy. He stared at the structure one last time, before clapping his hands together. Then the structure exploded with a loud BANG! After the explosion, fire seemed to spread across the destroyed structure.
If he could express his emotions again, he would just smile and laugh with joy. Because finally, the place where he and some other children were used to become killing machines was finally destroyed.
He removes the gloves one by one and shoved them back to his pockets.
There, he transformed.
Black fur seemed to spread across his skin. His ears seemed to become more like of a wolf's, while his fingernails turned into dagger-like claws and his shoes could no longer fit the now-transformed feet. His mouth became a muzzle, and his teeth turned into sharp canines. A tail materialized, while his eyes were more wolf-like than human.
He began to run away. First on his two, then when he was farther away from the site, he was on all of his fours. He howls as he runs away, letting all of them know, the night is always full of terrors.
Hope you enjoyed the prologue!
Chapter 2: Adronitis
Adronitis - Frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone (or something in the Elrics' case)
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
< I >
"An explosion occurred at exactly 11:00 AM in the evening." Roy sighed. "We believe it has to do with alchemy.."
Ed leans at the wall and closes his eyes. "Yeah, we'll be there tomorrow.." He hangs up the phone and sloppily sits at the couch. He remembered what had happened earlier, with Tim Marcoh. If he could just beat the living crap out of him, maybe-
That's just wrong.
That's not how they way they do it..
He always wondered. Why everytime, he and Al get so close in finding some sort of way or clue to bring their bodies back, it always ends up a dead end or just nothing. He decided to lay down on the couch with a comforting position, while just staring at the ceiling.
He thinks back to why they're like this. Like that they did human transmutation just to bring their mother back. But whatever they brought back, wasn't their mother… That thing wasn't their mother. Whatever it was, it died the moment it was brought back to life.
But what would happened if they didn't try bring their mother back? Would any of this cease to exist? Would-
He looked at the source of the voice. It was Pinako, her eyes were full of worry. "You were staring at the ceiling for a couple of hours, is something wrong?"
Wait, he stared at the ceiling for hours? Maybe time really flies by. "Nothing.. Just remembering the good times here.." He lied.
It was obvious that she wasn't buying it, but instead of telling him to tell her the truth, what came out of her mouth was: "It has been very lonely without you.. Get some rest.."
Edward was excited when Marcoh told him that the ingredients of creating a Philosopher's stone were placed in the National Central Library. But something was off. What did he mean by "regret"?
Before thinking more about that, he remembered why he was actually going back to Amestris.
The library could wait.. He told himself mentally with a smirk.
When they arrived at the scene, Ed could notice that Mustang was ordering some soldiers to secure the perimeter. He easily noticed the Elrics and said. "Ah, Fullmetal. I was believing you weren't coming here.. Guess I was wrong.. Where's Major Armstrong?"
Edward rolled his eyes and pointed at the huge man who was helping soldiers investigating. The colonel chuckled. He then stared at Al. "Ah, Alphonse. I see that you're better now!" He chortled as he goes over to him to pat his (or the armour's) shoulder.
"Thank you, Colonel.." Alphonse replied with usual tone and/or voice.
"So… get straight to the point.." Edward replied with a smug expression written on his face.
"At exactly 11:00 pm in the evening, an explosion was heard coming from this area.." The colonel tapped his right foot to the ground. "A few seconds later, a distant howl was heard."
"A howl?" Alphonse chimed in.
"Now this is where it gets interesting… See, the howl, were assuming, belonged to a wolf. And we know that-"
"Wolves are rarely seen in Amestris." Ed continued Roy's sentence. "So you're saying there's a chimaera in the city?"
"Probably, but we are not sure.. It could possibly also be just a normal wolf." Though the colonel could be right, Ed wasn't so sure that a random wolf would just howl when the structure exploded.
"And also how could you say alchemy is involved? I don't see any transmutation circles." Al added as he looked around the area.
The colonel merely chuckled. "Yes, that's what we first thought as well. But as we closely inspected, we found no evidence of any object used to destroy the structure.." The colonel noted. "So we're assuming that the suspect was an unregistered alchemist and had a portable transmutation circle."
Edward scratched the back of his head. He then looked over at the rubble and debris. "Do you know what this area was before… What it's function was?" Edward asked. He walked towards a nearby rubble of concrete, then knelt down to retrieve parts of it.
"That's the problem we're trying to find out.. See, we found no record of what this area used to be."
"So you're saying that, you don't know what it's function was was?" Alphonse trembled.
This doesn't make any sense.. Edward thought. Why would an unregistered alchemist just all of a sudden blow up a structure that no one knows had existed until know?
Edward opens his eyes to see Alphonse looking at him. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah.. I was just thinking." He reassures the younger Elric brother.
"Colonel Mustang.." A new voice called.
The Elrics brothers saw the Lieutenant. "The Fuhrer called. He needs to see you right away."
And as expected, the colonel left them. Well, Edward thought, the library it is then..
William stalked the Elric brothers on their way to the National Central Library and see the defeated look on their faces when they saw the library burnt to ashes.
It was a shame that place burnt down, because it was the first place where they first met-
He tries to erase that memory and the others with him. But no, it became stuck with his mind already.
His gets a hold of himself, when he sees the Elrics returning to the vehicle.
Hmmm.. It seems someone told him about Sheska.
William and Sheska were very close friends. He could still recall the memory when she barely slept because she was busy reading a book, and that she was "reading the best part" and nothing could prevent her. He also recalls how she said that-
Now's not the time! He reprimands himself when he sees the car starting up.
William silently listened or, the most appropriate term, eavesdropping on the conversation between the young alchemist and his friend.
"Um excuse me. There was one thing we wanted to ask you.." The voice (presumably belonging to the older Elric brother, Edward) says.
"Do you remember seeing any research belonging to someone named Tim Marcoh?"
He leaned his back to the door, his ears focused to the conversation. He was in Sheska's residence, alongside with the Elrics and their possible bodyguards.
"There was some handwritten notes stuffed in a bookcase where they didn't belong."
He hears a sigh of relief coming from another person. "The notes were really there after all!" The voice rejoiced, for a while. "Which means, they burned up along with everything else in the library.." The voice then whined.
"Did you want to read them? Is that why you're asking?"
"Yeah but it's too late now.." William was prepared to walk away quietly when he hears footsteps approaching the door until-
"I remember everything that was in them, would that help?"
Shit! How could I forget?! Sheska was an extraordinary woman, for she had a photographic memory. It was good for the Elrics, but was bad for him.
They don't want to know how to the ingredient in creating the Philosopher's Stone, for it truly was horrible and grotesque.
So without hesitation, he forces himself to quit leaning against the door and knocked on the door.
I hope this may be a good distraction..
"Sheska, it's Will. May I come in?"
Hope you enjoyed the chapter!
Chapter 3: Monachopsis
Monachopsis - the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.
< II >
Edward was introduced to Sheska's friend, William. The man had lithe athletic body and had a muscular build that could easily overpower a certain amount of people.
He didn't know what to think of him at first glance, and it didn't bother him. But as he observed him closely, he noticed that the calm expression on his face didn't even seem to shift or change.
And it somehow frightens him.
He could see he wasn't the only one uncomfortable, as he notices Ross and Brody sweating nervously. Seeing Sheska talking to her friend makes him feel strangely out of place.
He couldn't explain why, but he just felt it. He wandered to his thoughts deeper, remembering what Roy told him and some other things.
"Big brother Edward!" A distorted voice in his mind spoke.
He snaps back to reality as he hears his name being called. "How did you know my name?" He asks, cautiously. "Your voices were so loud, I could heard them from afar."
Edward and Alphonse glaned at each other with "you were the one who talked louder" glares. While Ross and Brody looked at them confusedly.
"Oh, this is William! William is my friend!" Sheska points her index finger at him as a gesture. "Greetings…" He quickly takes a look at Alphonse, scanning the armour. "You must be Alphonse Elric, correct?"
"Y-yes…" Al stammers.
Ed lifted his eyebrows, surprised. For the first time, someone finally was able to tell. There was a huge grin on his face.
"Oh, Will, I have a question." Sheska began, fully facing William. "Why are you here?"
All faces were on him.
"I wanted to talk to you…" He eyes at everyone. "In pr-"
"Oh, it has been long time since we last talked!" She squeaks excitedly, rubbing her palms on her cheeks. "Oh! Oh! Oh!" She stands up all of a sudden, hopping like a giddy bunny. "I've got to show you something!"
She quickly tugs William's jacket, signalling him to follow her.
He slowly gets up from his seat and took Sheska's hand. "Lead the way...."
Sheska smiled brightly and took his hand. The both of them left the room immediately.
"Well... That's something.." Brody says as he scratches the top of his head.
Now they were already out of place.
They were still holding hands when they had exited the building. Sheska led William to an alleyway near to where she stayed.
Once they arrived at their destination, Sheska lets go of his hand.
"Tell me..." She says.
William tilted his head. "You really are indeed extraordinary.. Even though I haven't finished my sentence, you still managed to know..."
He places his hands on the pockets of his jacket. "I'm not sure if you're going to handle this well..." He pauses. "Do not let the Elrics learn the ingredient of the Philosopher's Stone."
He moves closer towards Sheska. She knew whatever he was about to tell her, was something important.
He finally stops when he was mere inches near where she was stood. "Because the ingredient on how to make one..." He whispers. "Is that they have to have human souls to create..."
Her eyes widened in shock and took a few steps backwards. "So that means-"
"They'll have to kill someone...."
"What?" Edward said in disbelief.
"I'm sorry, but I some forgot some of the notes.." Sheska replies sadly. Edward swore silently, then sighed. "It's alright..." He then takes his pocket watch off to where it came from. "Here.." He hands over to Ross. "This is my registration number and and the pocket watch for ID."
Ross led out an audible "Huh?"
"Withdraw that amount from my annual research grants and make sure Sheska gets it, okay?" He says while walking away.
"Right, I'll get on that right away sir.." Ross replies.
"Oh and William.." He faces him. "Make sure to keep an eye out on her, okay?"
William nods his head in agreement. "I will.."
When he, Al and Brody exited the room, they could hear a huge gasp coming from Sheska.
"Man that William person gives me the creeps.." Brody said as he exhales air.
"And I'm pretty sure he told Sheska not to tell us.."
Both of them looked at Ed, and said "Huh?" simultaneously. "What do you mean, brother?" Al asks.
"I'm saying is that he knows something about the Philosopher's Stone and told Sheska not to give us the copies she remembered." He clenches his fists. "And I need to know why.."
Chapter 4: Hiatus
Sorry, but I have to put "The Howling Alchemist" on hiatus. Why? Well, I'm going to make another story and writing two stories is a bit of hard. So yeah. I hope you understand.